No Words Wasted Sale
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    The Powell's Playlist | January 19, 2015

    Ned Beauman: IMG The Powell's Playlist: Ned Beauman



    I did have a playlist that I listened to over and over again while I was writing Glow, but three years on I'm a bit bored of those songs, which got... Continue »
    1. $18.17 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

      Glow

      Ned Beauman 9780385352604

    spacer

Sonny's House of Spies

Sonny's House of Spies Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Sonny is only one of the spies at the Bradshaw house in Mozier, Alabama. But as a child he saw a tray full of dinner come flying across the front hall at his father. His mother's aim was dead on. And Daddy's departure promptly followed.

Loretta, Sonny's older sister, spies by eavesdropping. As she tells him, "How else am I going to survive in a family tight-lipped as tombs?"

But the kids' spying only scratches the surface of what's really going on in this 1950s family in the deep South. While Deaton, the youngest, worries about pirates and vampires, and Uncle Marty, family protector, serves up scripture with every bite at the Circle of Life donut shop, somebody is watching.

Somebody unsuspected by Sonny. But at thirteen he knows something's fishy, and he intends to find out what. That's why one Friday after Uncle Marty pays him for dishwashing at the Circle of Life, he sneaks out of town, first by bike and then by bus. Selma, his mama; Mamby; Nissa; Uncle Sink; Aunt Roo; his sister and brother — nobody from that all-too-serious but often hilarious crew has a clue where he's gone. And even Sonny can't say exactly what he's after, until those tight-lipped tombs start talking, and life in the house on Rhubarb changes for good.

Review:

"Racially divisive, homophobic, post — WWII Alabama serves as the setting for Lyon's (Borrowed Children) exceptionally well-crafted coming-of-age story. Sonny Bradshaw is six when his father walks out, leaving him, baby brother Deaton and the acerbic eldest child, Loretta, in the care of their emotionally fragile mother. Over time, portly 'Uncle' Marty, owner of a donut shop where he serves up Bible verses with the clairs and fritters, 'reaches out' to the family, sharing meals and offering Sonny a job the summer he's 13. 'Viruses reach out to you too,' notes Loretta, who gets the best lines in a book full of spot-on dialogue. At the shop, Sonny uncovers a letter to Marty from his absent father that sets in motion a dramatic series of events culminating in a confrontation with Marty about homosexuality and sin, followed by a fatal fire. Lyons deftly contextualizes Sonny's horror at the discovery his father is a 'queer,' a stigma so threatening some would rather die than live with it. A subplot about the family's African-American maid highlights the equally insidious racism of the period but pushes the plot almost to the point of boiling over. Fortunately, Lyon's sharply drawn characters steer the story away from melodrama, and she balances the heavy elements with humor: a birds-and-bees conversation between Sonny and Deaton comparing human anatomy to hot dogs and buns is hilarious. The ending, which leaves Sonny in a romance with an undeveloped minor character, is not as satisfying, but the rest of the story more than makes up for it. Ages 11-14. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

The acclaimed author of "Borrowed Children" pens this novel about a 13-year-old Alabama boy who aims to change the tightlipped atmosphere at his house and find out the truth.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780689851681
Publisher:
Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books
Location:
New York, NY
Author:
Lyon, George Ella
Subject:
History
Subject:
Mysteries, Espionage, & Detective Stories
Subject:
Social Situations - Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
Subject:
Children's 9-12 - Fiction - General
Subject:
Social Situations - General
Subject:
Family - Parents
Subject:
Race relations
Subject:
Homosexuality
Subject:
Alabama
Subject:
Family problems
Subject:
Single-parent families
Subject:
Family - Single Parent & Non-traditional
Subject:
Coming of age
Subject:
Mysteries & Detective Stories
Subject:
Social Issues - General
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Atheneum Hardcover
Series:
Richard Jackson Books
Series Volume:
3079
Publication Date:
June 2004
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
Children/juvenile
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in 13.685 oz
Age Level:
11-14

Related Subjects

Children's » Situations » General
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Homosexuality

Sonny's House of Spies
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 304 pages Atheneum Books - English 9780689851681 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Racially divisive, homophobic, post — WWII Alabama serves as the setting for Lyon's (Borrowed Children) exceptionally well-crafted coming-of-age story. Sonny Bradshaw is six when his father walks out, leaving him, baby brother Deaton and the acerbic eldest child, Loretta, in the care of their emotionally fragile mother. Over time, portly 'Uncle' Marty, owner of a donut shop where he serves up Bible verses with the clairs and fritters, 'reaches out' to the family, sharing meals and offering Sonny a job the summer he's 13. 'Viruses reach out to you too,' notes Loretta, who gets the best lines in a book full of spot-on dialogue. At the shop, Sonny uncovers a letter to Marty from his absent father that sets in motion a dramatic series of events culminating in a confrontation with Marty about homosexuality and sin, followed by a fatal fire. Lyons deftly contextualizes Sonny's horror at the discovery his father is a 'queer,' a stigma so threatening some would rather die than live with it. A subplot about the family's African-American maid highlights the equally insidious racism of the period but pushes the plot almost to the point of boiling over. Fortunately, Lyon's sharply drawn characters steer the story away from melodrama, and she balances the heavy elements with humor: a birds-and-bees conversation between Sonny and Deaton comparing human anatomy to hot dogs and buns is hilarious. The ending, which leaves Sonny in a romance with an undeveloped minor character, is not as satisfying, but the rest of the story more than makes up for it. Ages 11-14. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , The acclaimed author of "Borrowed Children" pens this novel about a 13-year-old Alabama boy who aims to change the tightlipped atmosphere at his house and find out the truth.
spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.